Some pretty good, if unexpected, news coming out of the Minnesota Vikings' latest round of Organized Team Activities today.
Former Vikings' defensive end Kenechi Udeze, the team's first-round selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, is back with the Vikings on a coaching fellowship, according to Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Udeze played for the Vikings from 2004 to 2007, and was then diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He received a bone marrow transplant to fight the disease, and missed the entire 2008 season as a result. He attempted to come back for the 2009 season, but suffered from peripheral neuropathy in his feet, meaning that his feet didn't have the strength to plant firmly and give him any burst. He formally announced his retirement from the NFL prior to the 2009 season, and according to the article still suffers with the same problem in his feet.
Udeze spent some time as an intern with the Seattle Seahawks last year, where he worked with Pete Carroll, the man who coached him in college at the University of Southern California. Udeze will be with the Vikings through their second pre-season game of this season.
It's good to see Kenechi Udeze still around the football field, and particularly back in Minnesota where it all started for him in the NFL. Hopefully he can continue his coaching career somewhere, whether that somewhere is in Minnesota or not.